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German wages stagnate at bottom of EU study

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German wages stagnate at bottom of EU study
Photo: DPA
08:00 CEST+02:00
Wages are rising more slowly in Germany than all other European Union countries, according to a new study published by daily Die Welt on Tuesday.

Workers' income increased by just 0.1 percent in 2008, while it decreased by the same amount in 2007, the study found.

The numbers put Germany last among its counterparts, where the EU average was a wage increase of 1.3 percent more money for 2008, and 3.6 percent more in 2007.

Conducted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), the study also found that women in Germany earn 23 percent less than men – well above the EU average of 16.6 percent less. The gender gap is larger in only Cyprus, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Estonia. The smallest wage gaps are in Italy (4.4 percent), Portugal and Slovakia (both at 8.3 percent).

European trade unions sharply criticised salary development in Germany, The unfair difference between male and female salaries is a scandal, said General Secretary for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Reiner Hoffmann, told the paper.

"The employers in Germany must finally change and give women equal rights in payment,” he said. “Other countries show that it's possible.”

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